3 Big Roof Maintenance Mistakes

house gutter jammed with leaves

Studies have repeatedly shown that engaging in proactive roof maintenance and getting repairs done at the earliest stage possible can both reduce roofing costs and increase the service life of the roof. While taking the do-it-yourself route with the maintenance of your roof can save some money versus hiring a professional roofing company to do the job, there are several commonly made mistakes in these endeavors that can escalate costs far beyond the amount that might have been saved. These mistakes include:

1) Walking on tiles – A tile roofing system will usually have an expected service life of approximately 100 years and have some of the longest warrantees of any roofing material. Despite their longevity and their resistance to a wide range of extreme weather conditions, tiles are relatively brittle and are vulnerable to cracking or breaking when bearing the full weight of someone walking on them. In fact, many tile roof warrantees prohibit walking on tiles and can be voided under certain circumstances. If you insist on going DIY, use walking boards to prevent individual tiles from being damaged by being stepped on directly. In most cases, however, hiring a professional roofing company to service your roof will be the best way to avoid breaking tiles and violating terms of the warranty.

2) Trying to remove snow or debris from a steeply inclined roof – While the prompt removal of accumulations of snow and/or debris is a recommended practice, wet or snowy weather conditions combined with steep inclines can make working on the roof extremely dangerous. Removing snow and ice may also result in damage to vents and gutters, especially if ice is being broken up using a hand axe, a pick, or another type of tool. Between the danger of falling off of a slippery roof and the potential of causing damage to various components of the roofing system, bringing in the professionals to clear ice, snow, and/or debris will be a worthwhile investment.

3) Forgetting about drainage – The positioning of gutters and downspouts can make it difficult to see trapped leaves and other forms of debris from the ground, but if accumulations grow to the point where they hinder or stop drainage altogether, pooled water can start leaking into the house, start the formation of an ice dam, or become heavy enough to start pulling the drainage system away from the roof. Of these three issues, clearing your drainage system of leaves and debris is the most suitable as a DIY project.

While going the DIY route can save money, doing maintenance on your roof in specific situations may carry risks that result in bigger and more expensive problems. When in doubt, call a professional roofer to get the job done.